Rwanda - Update - Heavy fines but no jail for editor convicted of defamation

MONTREAL, Nov. 17 /CNW Telbec/ - Jean Bosco Gasasira, the editor of the fortnightly Umuvugizi, has been convicted on charges of defamation and invasion of privacy but has been acquitted on the more serious charge of insult and abuse, on which he had been facing a possible sentence of more than two years in prison.

In its verdict and sentencing issued on 13 November, the Kigali court also refrained from ordering Umuvugizi's closure, which had been requested by the prosecutor's office. The prosecution was the result of a complaint by a prosecutor and the head of the National Council of Women over an article claiming they had an extramarital affair.

The court fined Gasasira 10,000 Rwandan francs (20 dollars) on the defamation charge and 1 million Rwandan francs (2,000 dollars) on the privacy invasion charge. It also ordered him to pay 1 million Rwandan francs in damages to each of the plaintiffs (a total of 4,000 dollars) and 400,000 Rwandan francs in legal costs. In all, he will have to pay 6,000 dollars.

More information on the Gasasira case: http://www.rsf.org/Prosecutor-calls-for-more-than-two.html

SOURCE News - Media

For further information: For further information: Office of Reporters Without Borders, (514) 521-4111, rsfcanada@rsf.org

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